Teaching Children on the Autism Spectrum
Kimberly Heinemann, a head teacher at the Children's Center, describes the unique challenges and rewards of teaching children on the autism spectrum. Whereas typically developing children will intuitively learn from their environment and people around them, children on the autism spectrum must be explicitly taught skills, such as pointing, requesting and imitation. Ms. Heineman describes the range of teaching strategies used in her classroom, including applied behavioral analysis, hand over hand, fading prompts, family work and lots of positive social reinforcement.
"We have the utmost respect for our students, and because you can't let me know what it is you want or why you're mad...my job is to work with you and help you figure out... "
— Kimberly Heinemann, Head Teacher, Children's Center for Early Intervention